ABILENE â€” Sweetwaterâ€™s Rangers took advantage of two critical mistakes by Abilene Easternâ€™s Braves to score the go-ahead fifth-inning run Wednesday in the teamsâ€™ District 5 Major League (11-12) semifinal.
Then Reese Hayes retired the last six hitters in order to complete a 6-5 win for the Rangers that sent them into the title game at 7 p.m. today. Hayesâ€™ twin brother, Rylan, scored the go-ahead run for the Rangers following a passed ball and a throwing error that went over the third basemanâ€™s head by Easternâ€™s catcher in the top of the fifth inning.
Sweetwater grabbed a 5-0 lead to start the game, but saw it gradually slip away as Eastern came back to tie it by scoring five runs in a three-inning span against Rylan Hayes, the Rangersâ€™ starting pitcher.
But Reese Hayes got out of a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the fourth inning to prevent further damage, and Rylan â€” who pinch ran after Blake Andrus walked to start the fifth â€” regained the lead for the Rangers after the passed ball. He didnâ€™t stop at second, but headed for third base and scored when the catcherâ€™s pickoff throw went into left field.
Sweetwater survived a pair of home runs by Abil-ene Eastern, plus an RBI single that tied it 5-5 in the fourth inning. Andrus and Rylan Hayes had RBI hits in the five-run first inning and Reese Hayes, Andrus, Antonio Ramirez, Antonio Heredia and Rylan Hayes all scored. Seth Garcia had an RBI on a sacrifice bunt.Sweetwater won 12-1 over Clydeâ€™s Horned Frogs on Tuesday and also defeated Wylieâ€™s Astros, 10-9, and Jim Nedâ€™s Athletics, 16-1.